Need help with handbag addict

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New Member
Dec 17, 2007
Hi people.

I'm hoping to get a woman's view on an issue that's been bugging me for a few months now. It has intensified these couple of weeks. You see, I'm a guy and a collector of material things (not handbags) myself so I understand the passion that most of you have with your bags. Some of you probably would call your passion an addiction even. I've been there and done that.

Let me tell you what I'm currently experiencing and I'd fully appreciate your honest response no matter how insensitive it might be.

You see, I've always been pretty supportive with my other half's love for handbags. I never really get how women can spend thousands of dollars on handbags but then again, to each their own right? She's only been into it for a couple of years so as a collector of some sort nearly all my life, I know that there are periods where one will go nuts buying item after item and then the urge will eventually die off.

Here's my beef. She has bought four handbags in a couple of months. Close to 8 this calendar year. I am really concerned about this behaviour because she is spending way beyond her means. I've been a collector of stuff all my life but I've never really been in over my head. Ever. To me, dropping thousands upon thousands of dollars on something in such a short period of time is just irresponsible especially when there are priorities like a mortgage and a child on the way.

I've tried talking some sense into her that we're not wealthy and although we are privileged enough to enjoy a modest amount of disposal income, it's certainly not enough to support a habit of 1 bag a month or even 1 bag a couple of months (we're talking LV, Chanel & Gucci). She's assured me after every purchase that it's her last but it never is and frankly, I'm so sick of it that I just want to avoid her for the fear that I might blow my top and regret what I say afterwards.

I've reasoned that she is not from a wealthy family and also, she's not someone that's pulling in the big bucks. I've also asked her why she needed so many expensive bags when we don't even go out to executive functions that would justify her dressing up. In fact, if she goes out dressed up like Audrey Hepburn to the movies and I'm in my shorts and thongs (slippers), she'd probably feel that I'm embarrassing her. I believe that one should dress appropriately for an event but with our lifestyle and social status, we'd probably be at a formal event a handful of times a year at most.

Sometimes, I feel inadequate that I can't provide for her excessiveness and it's got to a point that I have thought to myself that she's better off with a rich guy. I've put myself in her position and I find that even when I was at the peak of my interest in a hobby, I'd always stop and think what bills I have due before I pull the trigger. What upsets me the most is that she does not even stop and think that we have a child on the way. It seems like I'm the only one that's concerned after reading and hearing news and advice from friends and family with children on how much kids cost nowadays. We're not talking about 50 dollars here and there but hundreds and most of the time, thousands of dollars that she's spending here. I've always asked her how she wants others to perceive her. Does she want to look like a million bucks but have nothing in the bank? I'm sure her friends and family knows that her job's not paying THAT good. She can fool people on her daily forum visits and posts but in reality, I don't know what she's trying to proof.

That's for letting me vent. I'd appreciate your comments.


Hopelessly Addicted!
May 17, 2007
Wow! Maybe she has some insecurities from her childhood that makes her want materalistic things. I have a sister in law that does that. She shops and shops for bags and clothes and just puts them in her closet. I think they do well financially but spends all the money on things. You might find out what the root of her problem is. My child would come before any materalistic things. I buy handbags within budgets and not wildly. I buy classics also so they last forever. Thats okay if you like to wear shorts and thongs. My husband has a professional job and make good money but he wears casual clothes and is not a clothes horse. You may have to compromise with her on her need for things though. Set a budget and allow her some things so she doesn't feel stiffled...


Still Abby Fabby!!
Oct 21, 2006
Wow. I had to read your post twice to make sure you weren't the husband of a former coworker of mine. I'd like to tell you all the things I always wished I could have told him.

I will not sugarcoat this. This will NOT go away and get better without a new understanding. From what you posted, she does indeed sound like she has a burgeoning addiction starting. Some, like a love for fine chocolate, or charms for a charm bracelet, can be harmless even if indulged too much. This does not happen to be one of those.

You must sit down with your wife. You must do it soon, this resentment sounds as though it is truly building momentum, and becoming a large problem! You need to have a very honest discussion about your finances. Do not sit down angry, in fact, do try to have this conversation after a nice dinner and some alone time. You need to come to the table with numbers that support what you are saying, and projections of what could happen. You need her to understand that your recent silence on the subject is not compliance, or that you have given in to her new habits.

It doesn't sound like you are saying she can't buy any more bags, even nice bags like Chanel or LV. It just sounds like you are saying that the spending has gone beyond your combined means, and that she simply can not buy so many.

Sit down, and ask her questions. Tell her this discussion is to learn more about each other. Ask why she loves these bags, and then truly listen even if it churns you up inside. Then, tell her what it has been doing to your finances. Stress that you understand where she's coming from, and while you wish every buying whim could be indulged, it simply can't. Show her why. Use real numbers.

You can't let the resentment build up until it can't be fixed. You care a lot about her, that much is obvious from your original post. I love bags too, but I would never put my marriage in danger to buy a Chanel. We all discover bags and buy too many, or too much, and need to get our wants and our possibles in line with each other.

Perhaps plan a new purchase, say, a push present (a present from hubby after baby is born) TOGETHER. It might make you feel a little icky to help her purchase a handbag - getting into colours, and leathers, a brand etc but make it something she will look forward to, plan, save, and hope for.

When it comes down to it, anything can drive a spike in a couple's faith and trust in the other. This is a fixable problem, and I hope you will both find a common ground and a healthy understanding. Good luck :tup:

(Disclaimer: the preceeding was a terribly opionated post, and I don't mean to offend anyone. I just want to give my opinion on a situation I have already witnessed firsthand in another couple, when I couldn't say or do anything but watch it unravel. It nearly broke them (financially and emotionally) because they didn't talk about it in a calm, rational, loving way. I hope for so much more here. Again, good luck and good wishes)


Nov 1, 2006
I think all you have said here is better told to her, face to face. It's better if you have paychecks, bills and credit card statements to back yourself up. I for one would certainly not want my spouse to be spending beyond our means for whatever reason.

Sit her down, talk to her. Many tPF spouses have had discussions and at least laid down a 'one in - one out' agreement. If she wants to buy something new, she has to sell one of her bags first and use that money for the new purchase.

Wish you all the best. Compared to a happy family and a beautiful child, what is a handbag after all?
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